By Nina Bogdan

The annual NCTA New Year’s brunch was held at Skates on the Bay restaurant in Berkeley on January 13th. This is the fourth year that the event was held at this location and the general consensus among attendees was that it remains a good choice. Approximately 30 members attended, although apparently 50 or so sent in a positive RSVP. The whereabouts of the missing attendees remain a mystery and they certainly did miss out on a very pleasant social and networking event. This was my first time attending the brunch and I must admit that while I made the decision to go only at the last minute, I am very glad that I overcame my slothful inclinations and took the plunge.

Skates on the Bay is located on the Berkeley waterfront and has a sweeping (one might even say “spectacular” view) of the bay. The weather on Sunday was perfect—clear and bright with a slight breeze. One of the blessings of living in the Bay Area is having these unexpected very un-winter like days that pop up between rainstorms and overcast drizzly periods.

Lunch began with an offering of a variety of beverages. I, not being a designated driver for once, opted for a Bloody Mary and although it looked almost too pretty to drink, it went down quite nicely. We proceeded with ordering brunch and then were presented with pastries, coffee, and tea courtesy of NCTA.

There were quite animated social and business discussions throughout the meal and it was quite apparent that a good time was had by all. I was finally able to put names and faces together, which I find to be an important part of networking when most communications are by email. The lunch ended with what may become a traditional walk on the long pier adjacent to the restaurant and the obligatory group photo. All in all, this was a very pleasant way to spend an early Sunday afternoon.